Father Larry's Letters

"Father Larry's Letters" are a weekly letter/journal about the many events occurring within and around the St. Luke's community.

Birthdays, Plans and Picnics

Dear St. Luke’s Parishioners,

It is somewhat hard to imagine that there are cracks that are starting to appear in the ground and that lawns are turning brown. Wasn’t it just days ago we were struggling with too much rain that we could not plant the fields? It’s Iowa!

I arrived back mid week on July 10 from about 8 days with my mother and siblings preparing for and celebrating her 100th birthday. When you plan things for this kind of celebration, you have hopes for how it will go but sometimes then there is the reality. Well, I can say from my standpoint, our plans were more than exceeded.

There were several days before hand when many of our family gathered to help get ready, to be together playing cards, looking at pictures, telling stories, gathering quilts Mom has made, confirming plans for the day.

We went down to the new St. Mary’s Community Center to decorate Saturday morning of the celebration. There had been a 70th birthday the night before and we asked them to leave their decorations and we added ours. The hall itself is beautiful and a little birthday touch provided a wonderful atmosphere for the 2-4:00 pm Open House. We put out most of the quilts that Mom made for us. My older brother gathered pictures from most of us and put them on about a one hour computer loop - nice.

We had a 5:00 pm evening Mass at St. Mary’s Church with my niece playing her flute - beautiful. Then the Main Street Market (the little grocery in Panama) catered the dinner for friends and cousins. My mother’s three living sisters were with us. It was a marvelous day. Mom says thank you for all the birthday cards.

Wednesday morning, July 10, I went to the Neumann Monson architect office downtown for a team planning session for Phase I. Continuing suggestions and refinements for the 34,000+ square feet are being made. I think we are getting very close. On Thursday, July 25, 6-8:00 pm, we will have a picnic and Ice Cream gathering for our adjoining neighbors at the building site to present an update of the Master Plan and details for Phase I. Much of this information will be used to present to the City of Ankeny for a change in zoning for our eventual Senior Housing. 

On Thursday, July 11, Cindy and Jenifer took me to lunch at Olive Garden for my birthday. Thank you very much - nice! On Friday, the day of my birthday, the 7:45 am Mass crew insisted that we go to Daylight donuts - I agreed. At lunch, Fr. Bob Kem from St. Anne’s took me to The Wheel House, a new neighborhood restaurant for lunch. The St. Luke’s supper club took me to the I Cubs for Picnic Supper and the ball game - the I Cubs won - beautiful evening! It was a great birthday.

On Sunday, July 14, we enjoyed the baptism of Ezekiel John Ledyard at the 9:00 am Mass. Welcome Ezekiel! After both Masses, we were encouraged to sign up for various things to help with the parish picnic to be held at North Creek Park off of Irvinedale beginning at 11:30 am. Go home and get ready for a nice gathering, food and fun until 4:00 pm. See you there!

Fr. Larry Hoffmann